Adobe adds raw HDR capture to Lightroom Mobile for Android and iOS

Android / iOS / Mobile / Photography
Lightroom-Mobile-raw-HDR-capture

With Lightroom Mobile raw HDR capture, the result is a 16-bit floating point DNG, with all of the benefits of both an HDR and a raw photo.

HDR, or high-dynamic range, is a term familiar to many photographers and is a technique that is gaining traction in video and gaming as well. For those unfamiliar with the term, HDR is a process used to capture and display images and video with a greater dynamic range of luminosity. This is usually not possible with standard digital imaging or photographic techniques. In photography, this is achieved by taking 3 or more photos at various exposures and then merging them together after the fact — something that is not easily done using a smartphone camera.

Adobe has announced that Lightroom Mobile for Android and iOS has been updated to include support for raw HDR capture, allowing for true HDR imagery from smartphones. “But my smartphone already has an HDR mode,” you might be thinking. It does, but in most cases, the results are achieved by using two JPG photos and merging them together. In order to achieve a true HDR effect, photos should be taken in raw, or DNG, format and then merged together to get the most accurate dynamic range possible.

So how does Lightroom Mobile’s HDR capture differ?

The new HDR mode works by automatically scanning the scene to determine the correct exposure range and then capturing three DNG files which are then automatically aligned, merged, deghosted, and tonemapped in the app. You get a 16-bit floating point DNG, with all of the benefits of both an HDR and a raw photo, which is processed by the same algorithms with the same quality as the HDR technology built into Adobe Camera Raw and Lightroom.

Lightroom-Mobile-Three-Image-HDR-Merge

Three DNGs of different exposure are merged into a true HDR image.

Unfortunately not all phones support taking DNG photos or have the processing power to merge three DNG images on the fly, so the new raw HDR Capture Mode is only available on a select number of devices. On the Android side, this includes the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 edge, as well as the Google Pixel and Pixel XL. Adobe is working on supporting additional devices as soon as possible. If your Android device can take DNG photos and has a powerful enough processor, there’s a good chance it should be supported soon. There are a few more supported phones and devices for iOS users including the iPhone 6s, 6s  Plus, 7, 7 Plus, iPhone SE, and iPad Pro 9.7″.

You can check out Adobe’s handy Lightroom Mobile HDR Capture Mode tutorial below.

What do you think about Adobe adding raw HDR capture to Android and iOS devices? Let us know in the comments below or on Google+, Twitter, or Facebook.

  Source: Adobe
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